©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
You Kill Me

Filthy says:
"Either kill me or take me to Starbuck's. Same difference."

Cute. Good lord, that word makes me puke. Outside of about two percent of all baby mammals, a handful of ultra-rare Beanie Babies and my grandmother's tissue doilies, I can't think of a God damn thing that's "cute". Yet, the word gets overused as much as hack movie critics abuse "hilarious" and "edge-of-your-seat." There are people who go through their whole lives using only cute, neat and weird as descriptive adjectives. "Isn't this dress cute? "Oh, your house is so neat!" "That foulmouthed man at the Tavern is so... weird." "First, I thought he was sort of cute. Then I found out he had a lot of money and that was neat. But when I discovered he made it in gay porn it made me feel weird."

Does anyone know what cute means anymore? Has it been completely stripped of definition by women with "49% Angel" bumper stickers on their Tercels? Or has it always meant generic, tame and harmless? That's the way it applies to You Kill Me. What a cute, sterile piece of shit. It's like a Build-a-Bear wearing a camouflage jacket on: a fucking harmless piece of fluff dressed for danger. Man, few things piss me off more than dimfucks and screwdicks who pretend to be outrageous without risking a thing.

You Kill Me is pure shit, safe and sane, as synthetic as the ambience at a Starbuck's. Add three parts hit man, two parts heart of gold, one part self-discovery, five parts secondary characters of little interest. Stir it all together and, poof, some sort of harmless green crap that won't offend anyone, but might fool someone into thinking they're seeing something edgy. Cute, I'm sure someone thinks, but a complete waste of my time. Jesus Taco Christ, the name itself, You Kill Me is lame enough to tip the thing off.

Ben Kingsley plays the hit man, which I think is some sort of shorthand for hack writers when they want an amoral character, but are too damn stupid to define one for himself. How many fucking hit men have there been in the movies now? And of that, how many times has the story been about them finding their soul? Too God damn many. This time, Kingsley is also a drunk. A lovable one, of course, but so lush that he botches a job and gets sent away from his Buffalo home to scenic San Francisco to dry out.

Why San Francisco? Because this movie is so sweet it makes your teeth hurt like your nuts in a clamp. No other reason. In Frisco--I hear the folks there hate when you call it that--anyway, in Frisco, Kingsley has to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and work a job prepping corpses for a funeral home. Why that job? Because it's quirky! And quirky is cute. Plus, dead people have an edginess about them that really isn't edgy at all. All that forced quirkiness gives the proceedings a sort of Showtime series quality. You know, the oddness for its own sake, because the creators aren't clever enough to work for HBO.

Soon enough, Kingsley is befriended by the charisma-free Luke Wilson as a former drunk who runs a tollbooth. Why a tollbooth? Isn't it quirky? Kingsley also falls for Tea Leoni, a hard-faced woman whom he meets as she drops off her dead father at the funeral home. Why does she fall for an old, weathered fart like Kingsley? Because she is the executive producer of the movie, and he is the biggest name they could get for the lead role, of course. Besides, real attraction is irrelevant to this Fiesta del Turdo. It's much more about sitting back and occasionally thinking, "Gee, that's cute."

With the strength of a good woman and the dull shoulder of Wilson to lean on, Kingsley recovers. Of course, he has a couple of "cute" relapses, and plenty of self-doubt about whether he is good enough for an ambitious, yet nondescript, woman like Leoni. It all works out, though. Sure, people are fazed to find out he is a hit man, but only in the cutest of open-mouthed ways. I'm surprised nobody does a spit take.

Instead, Leoni gives us a double take and then keeps on loving him, maybe only so the movie can give us a "cute" montage of scenes where he teaches her how to also kill people. Wilson doesn't judge, and he doesn't call the cops. Why should he? Kingsley is just so fucking cute. The movie doesn't give a wet goat's teat about the moral implications, really. I mean, everyone has a reaction, but we're expected to love Kinglsey and assume he has a heart of gold under his bulletproof vest. We're supposed to understand all the dimfucked morons around him who go, "hit man... huh, that's interesting" and then go on their merry ways.

But the redemption of a hit man is a tired act. You Kill Me really offers nothing new on any subject, but plows on with a smug blandnessI usually only feel at Starbuck's. That's the aesthetic this movie goes for: the inside of a upscale coffee shop with its striving for inoffensive, faux cool. Just safe and clean.

I like my movies the way I like my taverns: full of dirtbags and drunks without hearts of gold, people who act real, and aren't afraid to take chances and be themselves. You Kill Me is none of that. It's too damn busy faking cute. One Finger.



Sarah Zapp of Comcast Network

License to Wed "will keep you laughing all summer long!"

Filthy's Reading
Anthony Holden - Bigger Deal

Listening to
Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy


Creature Comforts